GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Guatemala's Congress has passed a law requiring authorities to begin searching immediately for women who are reported missing.
The bill takes aim at the practice of abducting women into servitude as domestic workers or for forced prostitution.
Congresswoman Sandra Moran says when family members report disappearances by female relatives, police often just say they probably ran away with their boyfriends and don't act immediately.
Moran says if a search is not begun quickly, a woman's chances of disappearing into human smuggling networks increases.
The bill passed Thursday also orders different government agencies to cooperate in searches, and for authorities to create a DNA database of cases and registries of convicted offenders.
At least 4,500 women were reported as disappeared in the last two years, according to Guatemalan government statistics.